|1829 - 1920
Thomas wrote to the Journal of the Photographic Society in 1856, saying he had used a particular method “for some years for applying the exciting and developing solutions to calotype paper.” He mixed his solutions in paper cups and used paper spreaders, thus avoiding contamination by having fresh utensils each time. Thomas also had a suggestion for Arthur Melhuish’s paper-holding slide, indicating that he did indeed have a good deal of experience. Thomas had mastered the daguerreotype process in 1845 and gone on to be a sewing machine manufacturer in London. When he died, the British Journal of Photography called him the “oldest amateur photographer in the United Kingdom.” None of his photographs are known to have survived.
Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007)
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is included here with permission.
Date last updated: 4 Nov 2012.
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